Pear Varieties

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About
Notable varieties of pear, past and present, include the following.

Abbé, a 19th century French variety, is a long, thin, greenish brown pear often with a red blush; a mid-autumn pear of good flavour and texture, used mainly for dessert.

Anjou; see Beurre, below.

Bartlett is the name used in the USA and Australia for Williams varieties (see below), after the American grower Enoch Bartlett who introduced them into the USA in 1817.

Beurre (which should really be spelled Beurré) varieties are particularly soft and juicy, with little of the gritty texture which some others exhibit. They include two good winter eating varieties: Beurre d’Anjou, broad, lopsided, and has a yellowish-green skin marked with russet; and Beurre Bosc, which is particularly aromatic in flavour, distinguished by a long, tapering neck, and coloured dark yellow with russet. Beurre Hardy is a harder kind often used for canning.